The Best Werewolf Actors Of All Time
[ReviewAZON asin="0977304094" display="inlinepost"]I love werewolf movies. There is something more primal about them than your typical horror film. Some people have played some interesting werewolves in the past. I don’t mean that they carry the entire movie or television show, but these people have carried the role. Some of the movies weren’t great, but the parts they played were especially noteworthy. Feel free to shout out who you would have on this list. I love the film genre, so no answer is really wrong!
While Lon Chaney, Jr. wasn’t the first person to ever play a werewolf but he became the icon for all future werewolves. He starred in the 1941 Universal Pictures movie, The Wolfman. In it, he plays Larry Talbot, who returns to his family home after the death of his brother. He is attacked by a werewolf and when the full moon rises, becomes a wolf, himself. If the movie sounds familiar, it was remade in 2010, starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins.
You might not consider Michael Landon as a horror actor. After he spent the majority of his life on family-oriented television shows, but Landon actually made his movie debut in the film, “I Was A Teenage Werewolf” in 1957. In it, Landon plays Tony Rivers, a high school student with emotional problems who is sent to a psychologist for some hypnotherapy. While there, the psychologist experiments with Landon’s mind and transforms him into a werewolf. He kills some high school students and is eventually taken out, himself. This should not be confused with the 1980s Teen Wolf, starring Michael J. Fox. While based on the same premise, it was a comedy, where this was a horror film.
This is the only werewolf from a television series on the list, but is completely worth mentioning. Joe Manganiello plays the character of Alcide Herveaux in the True Blood series. One of the interesting things about Manganiello’s character is that he turns into an actual wolf – albeit, a large wolf - instead of being half-man/half-wolf. In human form, Alcide has some very animalistic qualities about him; heightened sense of smell, quick anger, pack mentality and facial expressions that give the viewer the idea that he is not “normal”.
I think I like Jack Nicholson in almost everything he is in. This movie, Wolf (1994), was a stretch for him. He plays a person changed into a werewolf, which is actually just a metaphor for middle-aged crisis (didn’t think werewolf movies could have this much depth, did you?). Nicholson starts off as a meek, mild mannered person until he is changed into the wolf. From then on, he becomes more aggressive and self-assured. Michelle Pfeiffer, who co-stars in the movie, becomes Nicholson’s romantic interest as he rescues her from the clutches of a wolfish, James Spader.
David Naughton was the werewolf in the 1981 movie, An American Werewolf In London. This movie was a landmark movie in the fact that it blended humor with really great special effects (for the time). In fact, Rick Baker won the Academy Award for best makeup due to his outstanding werewolf change. The movie is about two American tourists in Britain who are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists. After one of them is killed and the other one (Naughton) is wounded, he makes his way to London where he goes on a killing spree when the moon turns full.